Apparel retailer Zara recently announced they will close up to 1,200 stores around the world in an effort to prioritize the brand's online sales growth amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Although this move comes as a shock to some in the retail industry, data suggests it may be a wise one.
According to insights.emarsys.com data, revenue from online retail has been climbing steadily (save for a large spike in April) throughout Europe since the start of 2020. Even as stores around the globe are beginning to reopen, too much uncertainty remains about future potential impact of the coronavirus. As a result, Zara's brick-and-mortar stores across Europe and Asia will continue to close (though UK locations are less likely to be impacted).
For now, the brand's move to focus their attention on their online retail growth makes perfect business sense. The question is, will other major retailers begin to follow in Zara's footsteps?